The Year of the Box Office Bomb

So The Mummy dropped last week and it sucked, like really sucked. In all honesty, and without trying to sound too pessimistic, I thought it would. Cruise is too old for the action-star shtick, Alex Kurtzman has only directed two full-lengths including this and the trailers came across as flat, soulless and completely lacking the humour, pace and charm of there 1999 Brendon Fraser-led predecessor. At least we cant do them for false-advertising.

Not only was it received about as well critically as a Gary Glitter Greatest Hits compilation at a children’s party it didn’t make many waves financially either. Coming in with a budget of $125 million not to mention millions more in promotional costs it has so far made around $180 million worldwide. Don’t get me wrong such an amount could probably do a lot of deserving people a lot of good who once resided in the Grenfell Tower (don’t get me started) but with a budget like that the numbers just don’t cut it.
In fact The Mummy isn’t alone in its failings as this seasons Big Budget Financial Bomb-Squad is as stacked as I can ever remember it being with the likes of Power Rangers, Ghost in the Shell, Baywatch and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword all slumped up against the bar wondering what the hell went wrong. Well there’s a few things that it could be attributed to.

Power Rangers was a surprisingly competent and ambitious effort with some good acting and effects but it was inconsistent tone-wise and the marketing campaign made it unclear as to whether it was aimed at kids or older audiences; therefore alienating both.

Ghost in the Shell was far better than it had any right to be but by being yet another entry in the Japanese Brand Readapted for US Audiences Club, you know alongside Dragon Ball Evolution etc, it already had audiences turning their noses up before it even hit screens. Along with Scarlett Johansson’s failure to do any PR or promotion for it its safe to say Ghost in the Shell was dead on arrival.

Moving onto Baywatch… Come on, its Baywatch. The show that isn’t currently available on any mainstream streaming networks and hasn’t been socially or culturally relevant since Joey and Chandeler sat back in their recliners to watch it on TV in the 90’s. Need I say more?

As for King Arthur. Two words; Charlie Hunnam, yes he was the main guy in Green Street, and two shows; Game of Thrones and Vikings. Nowadays Fictional Period Films are not exactly in high demand, then again this film was originally conceived almost a decade ago which explains a lot, but when they can be obtained on Netflix once a week from the comfort of your front room it all but dooms the ones that hit the big screens. Plus, like Power Rangers, its promotional campaign was confusing and half-hearted. Double plus; Charlie Hunnam. FYI I really don’t like Charlie Hunnam.

All of the above could be considered valid reasons for why in ten years time the fan base for these films will be holding their reunion in a phone booth but perhaps the reason that they’re taking an early dirt nap and have about as much chance of receiving a sequel as Tha Bozz does of receiving a Grammy runs deeper than that. Except their financial failings what one other thing do these movies have in common? They are all reboots or reimagining’s of a franchise that came before them.

Reboots are the thing and have been for a while. The likes of Michael Bay have made a killing off them but if we’re honest a lot of them are not exactly up to much. It seemed like for a while that this was fine with the most recent Transformers and Ninja Turtles films doing good business but perhaps the game is changing and people are finally getting sick of these soul-less or at least average reboots and its time for Hollywood to make some changes? Unless your Disney, Disney will be fine…

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.

Justin Bieber – Britains biggest hater!

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The funny thing about the internet is that despite my best efforts and despite how long it’s been around its still something I struggle to keep up with. I don’t just mean the constant and mostly unnecessary updates for everything that seem to be surfacing every 20 minutes that serve no purpose other than to turn us into a bunch of moronic air-heads who can hold a conversation without picking our phones up for about the same amount of time as the average person can hold a live fish but also the constant stream of information, again most of it pretty useless.

Unlike most people my age I don’t have a phone that can tell me which direction the winds blowing in, how to open a can of tuna or which professional football player this week is apparently sleeping with his teammates insanely attractive girlfriend but guess what, I don’t want one either. Call me old fashioned but the idea of possessing such a device doesn’t appeal to me much. I like my clunky old LG device, when its fully charged it can live for about as long as the average goldfish plus you don’t have to feed it, it calls and sends texts in a very intuitive manner and unlike those shiny new IPhone’s you can’t break it with harsh language or a cold stare.

Again, call me old fashioned, no seriously call me it it’s one of the only things that gives me a sense of identity but I suppose I come from the last remnants of a generation that wasn’t completely alien to the concept of ‘Playing Outside’.  When I was a child high-speed Broadband was an urban myth and computers were only owned by the kids in school who were either considerably more nerdy than I was, not an easy thing to be, or considerably richer than I was, an extremely easy thing to be. I was committed to the concept of ‘Playing Outside’ and I do mean committed. Have you ever tried playing Baseball by yourself? Or even worse playing Baseball with your older brother who is 10 years your senior, has his own bat and holds you responsible for the fact that his Christmas presents are getting smaller and has quite frankly held a grudge against you ever since you were small enough to be referred to as ‘The New Baby’?  

Due to this and the fact that I’m fairly sure my Mum is still unsure of how to open her e-mails and my Dad is still sitting in the dark waiting for Gas to make a comeback I was introduced to computers and therefore the internet relatively late. As a result, I’m quite late on the subject that I’m about to discuss but if you’ve read this far you may as well stick with me because things can only get better as D-Ream once told us. Then again the last time I heard anything about those guys was when they were playing to a crowd of about 20 people in a bar somewhere in Wrexham, so they could very well be full of the brown stuff.

Never the less the subject I am about to discuss is Justin Bieber and his apparent dislike for my homeland. You probably think I’m about to stick the boot in and give him the usual tirade of abuse that he’s no doubt used to getting from people who aren’t as rich as he is but you would be wrong. Granted, he looks like what would happen if one of those putty people from those God-awful Morph cartoons bred with Dolph Lundgren and his music is about as formulaic and spice-free as a tin of Baked Beans but I’m actually fairly indifferent to the kid. He did catch my attention though when he released a statement saying that after his recent tour of the UK he will never be coming back. Most people responded with phrases along the lines of ‘great’ or ‘I hope you never tour again, period’ and other equally smart and eloquent responses. The first thing about this that caught my attention was how this pesky kid has managed to sell so many damn records when apparently everybody fortunate enough to own a keyboard and an opinion hates his guts? I think somebody’s fibbing…

The statement made by Morph Lundgren may not be pleasant to read but being a resident of the largest city in the country that I live in, yes Wales is a country for any non-Brits unfortunate enough to be reading!, I can almost understand where he’s coming from. What with performing shows slap-bang in the middle of places such as London, Birmingham, Manchester and indeed Cardiff it is likely that as soon as the putty-faced git stepped out of his hotel he was greeted by traffic jams that began at 4 in the morning, real-estate prices that would make Sir Alan Sugar break out in hot flushes, the rudest and most pig-ignorant people imaginable and the sort of environment where English is a fourth language and it rains 10 months out of every calendar year. If that’s all I’d ever seen of Britain I would probably hate it as well. I am of course generalizing but the chances are that our pint-sized crooner had little time to see any other side of my great homeland, well its only half mine I’m actually 50% Sicilian but you get the point.   

However, there are always two sides to every story/argument and I’m not entirely convinced from what I’ve read that the kid isn’t at least partly to blame for the less-than-warm welcome and treatment that he received. It’s not exactly responsible touring practice to hit the stage more than 2 hours late for practically every performance you are booked for. It’s especially irresponsible when 50% of your audience has a 10 o’clock curfew, 30% of it has a 9 o’clock curfew, 10% of it still wets the bed and the other 10% are the unfortunate parents who have to stand their waiting and shelled out £200 for the pleasure. When I was 14 years of age I attended a Snoop Dogg concert and he was around 90 minutes late hitting the stage. He had a genuine reason in that his opening act had been in a car accident and as a result the slot was empty and Snoop’s transport couldn’t get him to the venue until it was his time to go on. Despite the authenticity of his excuse the first thing the Dogg did after his first number was apologize profusely for the late showing and this is a guy who keeps a blue flag hanging out his backside but only on the left side because, you know, that’s the Crip side and what not. Apparently JB issued no apologies for his late showings.

Something you should know about the British if you’ve never been here before, we do not like waiting, cuing or anything that involves standing still and doesn’t involve making money or getting laid. I’ve seen full scale brawls break out over cues at the post office let alone over 2 hour waiting times for American Ken-dolls that people have shelled out their hard earned money to see. Needless to say, Bieb’s conduct likely upset quite a few punters.

Reports also state that Bieber’s performances were for the most part poorer than usual and he often appeared distracted, uninterested and even drunk. Granted, I’m sure an overly pampered 19 year old from Canada would probably become inebriated on British fumes but this news still doesn’t look good on the boy.

The fact is Bieber likely has his own reasons for wanting to leave Britain in his wake and eating dust sandwiches but when he turns up 2 hours late for his shows and after 20 minutes of his set he’s sucking wind so badly that the first 4 rows are passing out from oxygen deprivation it’s likely that most of his British fans would like nothing more than a custard cream and a nice pot of English tea to go with said sandwiches. I don’t hate the 19 year old; frankly I feel that my energy is far better spent hating people that I know in-person but the headline caught my eye and what you have just read was my 2 cents so to speak. If he’s not planning on coming back, maybe I could take his slot? Given my current financial state I’d perform with no microphone, in my draws, in front of a pack of frustrated Baboons during the mating season and I wouldn’t even ask for half the money!

Agree? Disagree? Love Bieber? Hate Bieber? Think I need a new phone? Feel free to leave your thoughts and thanks for reading!

Yes, this is a Star Wars Post!

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I haven’t posted anything in quite a long time and for this I apologise. I have no excuse other than things have been rather busy at the moment and as a result my head feels like theirs a comprehensive Megadeth reunion tour taking place inside it and my body feels like it’s been through 3 full rounds of professional boxing with the Mike Tyson from the 80’s whilst having my 4 different limbs tied to 4 different horses running in 4 different directions. Honestly, I took a look in the mirror the other day and thought that the person staring back at me was a vampire and it’s literally getting to the point where I’m going to the gym to ‘relax’, so actually I guess I kind of do have an excuse. Alas I do miss my WordPress account a great deal though, I’m getting pretty sick of calling it a ‘blog’ because the more I use the word the more it sounds like the name given to a fat, sloth-like water creature that resides in dirty lagoons, bathes in frog spawn and subdues its live prey by farting into the water but I digress. I do miss it because it’s therapeutic and believe me we all need therapy just ask my therapist and unfortunately simply walking out of my apartment and shouting a similar group of phrases to the ones you are now reading at the first passer by that I see is the type of behaviour that can get you placed in one of those rooms where everything is white and padded and your lunch is fed to you via syringe.

One thing I have noticed in my absence though is that the internet is rather rife with Star Wars related posts as of late. This is mainly due to the fairly recent news that Lucas has finally decided to step down from the position of Project Director of ‘Operation kill and butcher the franchise that we all knew and loved as children’ and has instead decided to pass the buck over to another party so they can do the exact same thing whilst he watches from the side lines. The other party is of course Disney and predictably enough this news has been met with a mixed reaction. I’m not going to throw my largely speculative and largely irrelevant 2 cents into this one because let’s face it; it’s pretty much just that isn’t it? Purely speculative and completely irrelevant, there’s a good chance the new trilogy is going to come out and stink worse than my Blog Monster mentioned earlier but my foot will be lodged firmly in my own mouth if it comes out and ends up being the best creation since the guy with the stick and the rock and I’ve spent the previous 2 years ripping the very concept a new arse hole.

I actually feel a little bit sorry for J.J. Abrams for being the guy selected to carry the torch for this new trilogy. The task of keeping the millions of ridiculously hard to please, not to mention, ridiculously disillusioned fan-boys happy is one that makes the prospect of Jedi training seem like a week long holiday to a five-star suite in Hawaii where, as Mr Michael once put it, the Club Tropicana drinks are indeed as free as the day is long and simply kicking your heels together gets you a free ‘massage’ from Freida Pinto and Haile Berry whenever you so desire it. The amount of damage that the recent trilogy has done to the credibility of the franchise has been detrimental in the eyes of some and it’s a little hard to argue with these people. Many people criticised the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi for being silly and pointless and saw the prospect of these 3 foot primitives armed with stones and sticks defeating a battle hardened army of 6 foot storm troopers armed with guns and a love of all things Dark Side to be ridiculous. It’s a fair point in my eyes, so the people responsible for The Phantom Menace respond to these criticisms by creating Jar-Jar Binks a character so unbelievably irritating that he makes Peaches Geldof seem bearable, so unbelievably racist and degrading that he makes the black fella’s in Cool Running’s seem factually accurate and so unbelievably stupid that he unwittingly grants the Dark Lord of the Sith who wants to destroy and rule the galaxy the authority and means to do just that. Not to mention that the character essentially ruined the career of Ahmed Best, a guy who is actually pretty damn talented and is really only guilty by association.

Then you’ve got some of the criticism centred on the character of Princess Leia. Some fan boys, particularly in A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, describe her character as broody, obnoxious and generally unlikeable, again fair points. So the team behind the newer trilogy respond to these criticisms by creating Queen Amidala of Naboo. The first thing that you’ll notice about this character when you see her is she is royalty through and through and I mean the old school kind of royalty, caked in white make-up, flamboyant garments and enough ice to make the hottest room temperature drop. The second thing you’ll notice is that she’s an arsehole, again through and through. Her planet is being invaded by an army of soulless Droids who are under orders to kill anything that gets in their way and she says that she ‘won’t condone an act that will lead us to war’. Has it not dawned on her by now that while she sits in her fancy thrown room that war is already upon her? You can’t really be ‘lead’ to something that’s already banging on your front door and wiping its dirty shoes on your welcome mat. Even worse, when the senate vote to send inspectors to her planet to survey the situation she turns them down, stating that she wants the problem resolved immediately. Surely when the inspectors get there and discover the burning buildings, the 10,000 strong metal army and the fact that every politician is either dead or under house arrest the senate would vote to do something about it? This trail of thought doesn’t cross her mind though and the plot point is dropped quicker than the 3 ‘jobber’ Jedi that get cut down by Darth Sidious right before he gets totally owned by Mace Windu aka the only black guy in the galaxy.

What really takes the biscuit though is that while the Queen is unwilling to send her own people to war she is more than happy to see a group of unwitting Gunguns take up arms to fight a near indestructible Droid army instead whose only weakness is the inability to show any form of human compassion or emotion, which given the situation isn’t really a weakness at all, and the Gunguns are armed with beach balls that carry some sort of EMP energy and ride into battle on wild animals. What-a-d*ck!

There are many other ridiculous plot points that are present in the newer trilogy. Like how about the way that once the Jedi Council meet Anakin for the first time and sense his potential power but also how volatile and potentially dangerous he could be they decide to have him trained anyway and despite the obvious risks they put him under the care of a Jedi who just days before was only a Padawan/Apprentice himself. Or how about the way that they then choose to send this volatile Padawan to a remote location on a faraway planet to protect a politician who is as ridiculously good looking as Natalie Portman, seemingly just as horny as he is, and who most people Anakin’s age would give their left nut for an evening with let alone an entire film! Honestly, the Jedi quite frankly deserved to meet the end they did because of their ridiculous stupidity. How can Mace Windu call himself a Jedi Master, emphasis on ‘Master’ meaning intelligent and wise, and then go to arrest the Dark Lord of the Sith, a being so powerful and deceitful that he’s managed to blend in with you and escape your gaze for decades, and only take 3 other Jedi with him for back-up? He lives in a building that houses every known Jedi in the galaxy, take 10 other Jedi with you, take 20 other Jedi with you,  you know what take the whole bloody temple with you if you can I don’t really think the phrase ‘over-kill’ applies to this situation.

What I’m trying to say is that J.J. Abrams has an order ahead of him so tall that Treebeard would probably struggle to step over it and because of that I have to feel a little bit of compassion for the guy. If he gets back a few of the original cast members this is going to create problems, Mark Hamill is distinctly past it, Harrison Ford has become notoriously hard to work with and the last time I saw Carrie Fisher she looked like the sort of person who sleeps in until 2pm and puts whiskey on her breakfast cereal. Beyond casting and plot issues though is the perception of the whole thing. Let’s face it, most people think these films are going to be terrible and nothing less than something superb is going to change that.

All in all, I’m apprehensive. I’m not expecting these new films to blow my mind like the originals did during their re-release in the 90’s but I seriously don’t expect them to achieve the new levels of mediocrity that were achieved by The Phantom Menace. In order for me to truly form a fair opinion on these films I will go into them with an open mind, I hope others will do the same.

Are you a Star Wars fan? Are you NOT a Star Wars fan? Do you agree with me? Do you think I’m full of the brown stuff? Would love to read your thoughts so please feel free to comment and sub, many thanks!